Andy Murray is playing the best tennis of his life right now, and after knocking off Roger Federer Friday in Melbourne, he's poised to capture consecutive Grand Slam titles for the first time in his blossoming career.
The 2013 Australian Open has been full of surprises so far, and Day 12 didn't disappoint, with two of the world's best going head-to-head in an Olympic rematch. Federer and Murray went the full five sets, but it was Murray that emerged victorious. He now has an 11-9 record against Federer head-to-head.
That semifinal was clearly the big draw of the day, but we also now have a women's doubles champion, and the field is officially set for the rest of the final events.
Here's a look at the scores and recap of Day 12 at the Aussie Open.
Men's Semifinals Score: Day 12
Andy Murray (3) def. Roger Federer (2): 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-2
Women's Doubles Final Score: Day 12
Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci (1) def. Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua: 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
Mixed Doubles Semifinals Scores: Day 12
Jarmila Gajdosova and Matthew Ebden def. Yaroslava Shvedova and Denis Istomin: 7-5, 7-6(5)
Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak def. Kveta Peschke and Marcin Matkowski: 3-6, 7-5, (10-7)
Murray Hangs On
At first glance, this five-set thriller likely drained Murray for his potential Grand Slam final against Novak Djokovic. Upon closer examination, Murray won all of his sets by at least two games, while Federer had to go to tiebreak to win both of his.
Still, the nearly four hour match (two-and-a-half more than Djokovic and David Ferrer's) will likely be rough to recover from, but Murray has two days to relax and prepare his mind for the final. For Federer, questions about his ability to continue to stay at the top of tennis are prepared to commence, but Murray just had a better match on Friday.
Murray continues to improve as a tennis player and has now crossed another hurdle that was potentially in the way of letting him take the next step—he beat FedEx at a major tournament.He had not been able to do so in three tries, but now finds himself ready to stare down Djokovic in the finals on Jan. 27.
Murray and Federer now have one of the more under-the-radar rivalries in sports, facing each other 20 times in their careers and coming out just about even over the course of their meetings.
Errani and Vinci Nab First Gold of 2013
The first Australian Open Final of 2013 came in women's doubles, and Errani and Vinci held on in three sets to knock off Dellacqua and Barty, the latter of whom was trying to become the youngest Grand Slam champion since Martina Hingis at this event in 1997 (h/t ESPN).
The top-seeded women's doubles team from Italy cruised through the tournament and to a victory in the finals but needed three sets to get there. The pair are the reigning champs at the U.S. and French Open but lost in the finals in 2012.
They wouldn't be denied in 2013 and now need another title at Wimbledon to complete a clean sweep of the four major titles in succession. These two are quietly dominating their section of the bracket time and again.
Day 13 Schedule
Here's a look at the upcoming schedule for Saturday as the tournament begins to wind down with championship matches:
Women's Singles Final: Day 13
Men's Doubles Final: Day 13
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan (1) vs. Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling